Country of the host city
At a stroke a run down quarter of the Catalan city was revitalised with the main Olympic Village just across the road from a vast new marina from which the public could view from platforms and the breakwater.
All this took place in the shadow of Frank Gehry's stainless steel fish sculpture atop the swanky Hotel Arts next door to the marina. Barcelona was a Spanish fiesta, a host nation's most fervent wishes come true: four gold and a silver from nine classes, which had grown thanks to the addition of a women's Windsurfer event. The Spanish team started training at the venue early, even whilst the marina was being built. Big cash bonuses were on offer to the medal winners too. King Juan Carlos, himself a competitor in the 1972 Olympics declared the Games open and Luis Doreste swore the Olympic Oath on behalf of all athletes. Inspiring? Doreste won the Flying Dutchman class.
The King's children, Christina had competed in the 1988 Games as Tornado crew and Crown Prince Felipe was middle man in the Spanish Soling in 1992, eventually finishing 6th. The Soling was now a slightly schizophrenic class, starting the competition with fleet racing before moving into match-racing for the medal stages. An unintended consequence of this was that Kiwi Russell Coutts, who had risen by then to the top of the world match race rankings, became the most-tacked-upon sailor in Barcelona as his rivals succeeded in preventing Coutts making the cut.
Doreste's fellow gold medallists were Teresa Zabell and Begonia via Dufresne in the Women's 470 and Jordi Calafat and Kiki Sanchez in the Men's fleet; Jose Marie van der Ploeg in the Finn. The silver went to Natalia via Dufresne in the newly introduced Women's singlehander, the Europe.